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Encourage boldness creativity and sustainability

Ana Madigibuli
Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Prime Minister's International Business Awards aim to encourage the concept of boldness, creativity and sustainability.

It provides an opportunity for Fijian businesses to benchmark performance, build capacity, inspire to innovate, show service excellence, support job creation and boost employee morale.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Industry and Trade Faiyaz Koya during the launch of the Prime Minister's International Business Awards at the Grand Pacific Hotel last Friday July 7.

"The theme for this year's awards "Achieving Sustainable Economic Growth" strongly reflects on the leadership role that the Government has taken up on the global stage with regards to climate change and its impact on the livelihoods of all Fijians," Mr Koya said.

"I wish to reiterate that the private sector has an important role to play in sustainable development. Therefore, we need the private sector to be innovative, to think outside the box, regardless of their size to go beyond their comfort zone to ensure sustainable development and protection of the environment.

"Hence through the 12 categories in this year's awards we will ensure no sector or business is left behind as far as recognising their contribution to the sustainable development of the economy."

He said the Fijian economy had been growing positively for the past seven years and was projected to grow by 3.8 per cent this year, meaning growth of businesses private sector investments.

"Simply, the Fijian economy has been performing well, as it is supported by the pro-growth and sustainable policies put in place by the Fijian Government and the hard work and dedication from the private sector," he said. "Our healthy foreign reserves low inflation rate and strong business confidence are putting our economy abreast with some of the best performing economies globally.

"In 2016, Fiji's total domestic export was valued around $1.12 billion out of which 10 top domestic products were valued at more than $674million or 60 per cent of the total domestic export earnings.

"Imports had slightly increased by 1.7 per cent in 2016 when compared with 2015. Our imports last year hovered around $4.84 billion. This is largely attributed to imports of investment items and cyclone rehabilitation."

He said the awards would have strict and transparent criteria and judging processes.

"This will result in setting a benchmark of excellence, giving that additional push to local businesses to be more competitive and more importantly being innovative whilst keeping in mind the environment," he said.

"I have confidence in our private sector and I know, together we can reach even greater heights and produce exceptional results."

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